London is property’s wild west. It is where common abuses, rights violations and scams are born. Supply is limited, causing rents to soar out of control and people accept ridiculous requests. Scandals such as beds in sheds (greedy owners place beds in fire-hazard, freezing outbuildings), rent-to-rent (property is split then re-let for more money, possibly without the owner’s authorization) and sealed bids for rented flats all begin in London. London renters routinely suffer from having no communal area, because all rooms are turned into more profitable bedrooms. Tenants dry laundry in minuscule rooms while eating and entertaining in that same, small, damp, inadequate area.
To avoid getting into an unpleasant situation, ALWAYS, ALWAYS ALWAYS view the accommodation yourself. Do not trust anyone (unless a close family member). Remember people have different standards.
Well, this may happen in the best case scenario. Meaning…. you get something at least, acceptable or not, some people would argue that is still something.
Recently the Citizens Advice Bureau reported cases of scams victim where fake landlords, ask prospective tenants to make a “secure” money transfer to a trusted person either themselves or a relative. Then the “landlord” asks to send a copy of the receipt to prove they have sufficient money for deposit and rent before they see the property/get keys.
The prospective tenants are told that no one else can access the money. However, when they go to collect it, they find that another person has already withdrawn the money and the room/property doesn’t exist.
So, NEVER NEVER NEVER send money to anyone. No matter how good the room looks like, or how amazing the deal sounds.
Finally, when something sounds too good to be true, most of the time it is not true!
TOP TIP: Come to London. Get a temporary accommodation in a BnB or Airbnb and always try before you buy. I mean, see the room before you rent and make sure you at least meet your future housemates at least once. Better safe than sorry.